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NPM 12.1 Sneak Peek - Using Perfstack for Networks

Level 15

OK, OK, I admit it. My favorite new feature of NPM 12.1 is PerfStackTM which is actually a feature of the Orion® Platform (or “Core”). So my team didn’t actually build it. Darn.  Fortunately, all the products that run on the Orion Platform get it, including NPM.  More importantly, all products can contribute data to it, making it super powerful.

The idea is simple. Put all of the data points that Orion has on a single page and make it pleasantly interactive.  Check it out:

1.png

Search for an entity on the left, browse through all the data we have about that entity, and drag and drop it onto the visualization pane on the right.  Works for all sorts of different entities like nodes, interfaces, and volumes.  Works with all sorts of data types too, like status (think: up/down/warning), time-series (think: bandwidth utilization), and events (think: alerts).

What does that look like for networks?  Check it out:

2.png

Interface status, transmit utilization and errors, and top egress flows on a single page.  Including NPM and NTA data.  Awesome.  We’ve been wanting to build this into the product for years!  I never would have guessed we would instead build a framework so that YOU can build these views on a whim.

Making it this easy and fast to view data points is absolutely a game changer. I was exploring some of the data the other day.  It’s like the scientific method in real time.  Observe some data, come up with a hypothesis, drag on related data to prove or disprove your hypothesis, rinse and repeat.

Check this out.  We’ve been experiencing slowness on one of our routers here at SolarWinds.  Bandwidth wasn’t saturated, and slowness didn’t seem to be tied to any specific interface.  I started by seeing the performance the poller gets when contacting the router:

3.png

That looks good, so why is my transit traffic impacted?  How’s CPU and RAM?  Add those…

4.png

RAM is kinda high for a router.  Is that causing any buffer drops?  Yes! Let’s see what size is dropping by pulling in the history for the 5 different sizes.

5.png

Ok, so we’ve got high RAM, causing buffer misses, specifically and only for Medium Buffers. I can jump on the router and tell it to be more aggressive about preparing more Medium Buffers to cover spikes of packets of this specific size.

This takes literally seconds, which is exactly what you want during an outage.

And data is provided by everything that works on Orion Core.  Think about that!  Notice high load time on a web page?  Pull in your WPM chart to see the history.  Correlate to CPU usage.  Correlate that to IIS queues.  To interface stats.  To flow data.

PerfStack does several of the things you guys have been asking for, and a few extra things we thought up:

  • Imports new data points as they’re polled in near real-time.  Without reloading the page or even a graph.
  • Hide the metric panel if you want and PerfStack displays the graph full screen.
  • Save your favorite PerfStacks and go back to them whenever you want.
  • Send someone the URL of the PerfStack you’re looking at, and they’ll see the same, even without saving.  Of course if they don’t have permission to see some data, they’ll see only the data they have permission to see.
  • Update the timeframe and all charts will adhere to it.

Want to try it out for yourself?  Keep an eye on your inbox.  We’ll be emailing you soon that NPM 12.1 is ready in your customer portal!

And what would you do with PerfStack?  We want to hear over at the appropriately titled post: What Would You Do with PerfStack?

23 Comments
MVP
MVP

MVP
MVP

This is a very nice and powerful new tool. I'm looking forward to using it and eventually having the ability to build pages that will continually monitor critical paths.

Looking forward to giving this a try.

MVP
MVP

Best feature since the last best feature!

Sigh.  Dreaming of doing this, need more bodies to help out here.  If there's someone out there who'd love to work in Health Care I.T., let me know--we're hiring for our Fargo, North Dakota office.

Level 15

Totally agree!

MVP
MVP

Keep posting ....................

MVP
MVP

In case this helps:

National Weather Service

Current conditions at

Fargo, Hector International Airport (KFAR)

Lat: 46.93°NLon: 96.81°WElev: 899ft.

Blowing Snow and Breezy

5°F

-15°C

Humidity79%
Wind SpeedNW 23 mph
Barometer29.91 in (1014.9 mb)
Dewpoint0°F (-18°C)
Visibility1.75 mi
Wind Chill-17°F (-27°C)
Last update7 Feb 2:53 pm CST

Tonight

Mostly cloudy, with a low around -11. Wind chill values as low as -21. Northwest wind 8 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.

Wednesday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 5. Wind chill values as low as -23. West wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Wednesday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around -8. Wind chill values as low as -21. West wind 7 to 11 mph.

Thursday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -23. West southwest wind 6 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Thursday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. South southeast wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.

Friday

Partly sunny, with a high near 41. South wind 10 to 14 mph becoming west in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 22 mph.

Friday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 18. West wind 7 to 10 mph becoming north after midnight.

Saturday

Partly sunny, with a high near 32. North wind around 7 mph becoming south in the afternoon.

Saturday Night

A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly between 7pm and 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 21. South southwest wind 7 to 9 mph becoming west northwest after midnight.

Sunday

A 20 percent chance of snow before 7am. Mostly sunny, with a high near 34. West northwest wind 9 to 11 mph.

Sunday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 21. West wind 9 to 11 mph.

Monday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 35. West wind around 9 mph.

Monday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 22. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph.

Tuesday

Partly sunny, with a high near 32. Northwest wind around 11 mph.

I didn't want to be unfair and show images of how clean the air is in North Dakota, or how pristine the landscape can be, and how soul-filling the quiet and sunsets are.  Actually, it's quite the paradise, despite what stereotypes you might have gotten from Hollywood.

From plenty of growing space and affordable land, to great job opportunities and good housing and good schools--North Dakota has so much going for it that folks simply don't know about.  World class reservoirs with huge Walleyes, great quality of life, sunrises and sunsets that go with the big prairie, hunting ducks and pheasants and deer for tens of thousands of square miles, ATV adventures like crazy, and solid friendly people who've got your back when you need a friend.

It's a mighty fine state in which to live and raise a family, and my company has great opportunities there if you enjoy networking with Cisco's latest & greatest gear, and Solarwinds products!

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MVP
MVP

Looks like a very useful feature.

Level 11

Can't wait to try it out!

Level 21

This is totally awesome, its pretty much what I was asking for in my Whiteboard Feature Request a few years back!  I am super excited about this.

Level 12

If it weren't for the problems I have with cold (Atlanta is bad enough), I would totally jump at the chance to join your organization.

Level 11

Perfstack should have export to pdf option to share the analysis with management & tower heads

Level 16

Mmmm

Why that Orion  in that video say it's has NCM 7.7 and NPM 12.2 ?

Before You Upgrade to NPM 12.1: PerfStack, Meraki Wireless and AWS Monitoring - SolarWinds Lab #52 -...

Level 9

Can you use perfstack with custom poller data? We just updated and I looked for metrics for one of our firewalls and I can't see the custom poller data that we are collecting (specifically the number of current connections in this case) in the available metrics in perfstack.

Level 15

UNDP can't be placed in PerfStack yet.

Level 12

Will be more useful when I can figure out how to make it a NOC view!  Looks like a useful tool to throw up on a screen to show status of key critical nodes over a set time frame.

Oh and the other goodies it has too.

I'm surprised it wasn't included.  In my opinion, this should be a requirement.

And the ability to share the report with other web console users so they can browse the timeline and see details.

MVP
MVP

You can actually just send them the url after your build the page.

Level 13

Level 10

Love this tool. Best feature!!!

About the Author
Lifelong technology enthusiast. Network Engineer turned Product Manager for network products. By geeks, for geeks! I started my career as a call center agent at a wireless ISP. I moved into the Network Operations Center to operationally support their network. I moved to another company to be a Network Engineer, and fulfilled that role at several different companies in different verticals including Healthcare, Software, and Finance. Eventually, I found my calling as a PM, where I work with all of the functions of a business, and particularly Development, to determine what to build next to deliver the most value to our customers.